Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been on schedule so far with its development of iOS 7, with each new beta release coming exactly two weeks after the previous update. So does this mean Apple developers and users can look forward to the beta 4 release of iOS 7 next Monday?
The first iOS beta release arrived on June 10, the same day Apple unveiled iOS 7 to its WWDC audience. The second beta release for iOS 7 appeared two weeks later on June 24, and the iOS 7 beta 3 release arrived two weeks after that on July 8. Assuming Apple follows the same release pattern for each update, iOS 7 beta 4 will likely appear on July 22.
Each beta release for iOS 7 has been more stable than the last, and we expect iOS 7 beta 4 would be the most polished version of the new iPhone and iPad operating system yet. In iOS 7 beta 2, Apple added iOS 7 functionality for iPad and iPod Touch users for the first time, and iOS 7 beta 3 introduced a number of new design features, including a bolder Helvetica Neue default font, a bigger status bar to read your device’s vitals, more options in the lock screen, new download animations for applications, a much more natural-sounding Siri, and more.
Though the beta 4 release date for iOS 7 hasn’t yet arrived, Apple developers and interested users are invited to download iOS 7 beta 3, as the latest build is polished and stable. Any registered iOS app developer can access and download the iOS 7 beta 3 -- users who installed a previous iOS 7 beta release can also upgrade directly through their iDevice's settings -- but unregistered Apple fans who can’t wait for the fall release date of iOS 7 can simply opt to pay the $99 fee to Apple to get access to the iOS 7 beta software ahead of its public release date. For more information on how to download and install iOS 7 to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch right now, check out our thorough step-by-step guide to loading your iDevice with iOS 7.
For the uninitiated, iOS 7 features a complete revamp of the style, colors, icons and textures of the iOS to make it a familiar but entirely new experience. However, the release of iOS 7 isn’t just a cosmetic release; iOS 7 is literally packed with dozens of new features and tools. Most notable among the new iOS 7 features: the useful Control Center that offers quick access to important settings; the built-in parallax control that shifts the background image in response to one’s movements; a new way to easily multitask and delete open apps; and the AirDrop feature for sharing photos or documents with other iPhone users in the area. We also believe the release of iOS 7 will liberate Apple's iWork and iLife apps for the first time, which have always been paid apps.
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We expect Apple to continue releasing new beta updates of iOS 7 until its public release date, which we’ve predicted will be Wednesday, Sept. 18 -- exactly 100 days after the June 10 unveiling of iOS 7. The release date of iOS 7 is also expected to precede the release of at least one new iPhone model; we believe the new iPhone 5S will have its release date announced just two days after the public release of iOS 7, on Friday, Sept. 20.
For more on iOS 7, check out our visual guide on iOS 7 to learn more about the new design, some surprise features we discovered from the first iOS 7 beta, plus our collection of 80-plus screenshots of iOS 7. What do you think of iOS 7? Do you plan to download and install any iOS 7 betas, or will you wait to upgrade your iOS on iOS7's public release date? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.